By Sydney Leong
UC Santa Barbara Art professor Jane Callister is a featured artist in the Thomas Fire Artists’ Recovery Exhibition, taking place at Porch Gallery in Ojai, California until March 11th. Callister is a 53-year-old professional artist who has exhibited works of paintings, drawings, and installations.
Originally from the Isle of Man, she has been a full-time faculty member of the Art Department at UC Santa Barbara for more than 20 years. She donated one of her paintings, the acrylic Turmoil (2017), to the exhibition to help raise funds to benefit local artists who were victims of the fire.
Q. Tell me about the exhibitions you are currently taking part in?
A. I have a current exhibition in Los Angeles at a gallery called Royale Projects that is on until March 4th. It has 10 works in it and some of them are 5 feet by 7 feet. I am featured in the Thomas Fire Artists’ Recovery Exhibition in Ojai, California. It is at a gallery called Porch Gallery.
Q. How did you become involved in the Thomas Fire Artists’ Recovery Exhibition? How did you find out about it?
A. I got an email from a friend of mine, who is involved with the Carolyn GlasoeBailey Foundation, which was funding the exhibition called the Thomas Fire Artists’ Recovery Exhibition. He invited me to participate and donate a piece of work so that the sales go towards the fund for the fire recovery.
Q. What piece did you feature? And what is the meaning behind it?
A. Each artist submitted one work. I included a small abstract painting — only about 12 inches by 12 inches. It’s almost like you’re looking at a close up of branches of flowers, but mixed in with colors — it’s hard to describe because it’s a purely abstract painting.
I would say it’s both joyful and chaotic — sort of the extremes of emotion. It’s not a depiction of anything that exists, it’s more like a sensation.
Q. What were the thoughts and processes behind the artwork?
A. A lot of my work has to do with painting itself — exploring what paint does as a liquid. The pouring images came out of that and they started looking like landscapes. I started doing brushstroke clouds in the background and from that, I focused on the sky-like brushstrokes.
Q. Why did you want to benefit artists affected from the Thomas Fire? Is there any information about that exhibition that you’d like to add?
A. I wanted to contribute to help people that were affected by it. I know people that were evacuated during the fire and then evacuated by the mudslide — they’d be out of their homes for quite some time and it’s been stressful for them, so I wanted to help by paying back.
Go see the show! The work in the show will be sold and then the funds from the sale will go towards the affected artists. It’s open to the public and anyone can go look at the show. The works are for sale, but you don’t have to buy. You can just go and support the gallery by showing up. The show will be open until March 11th.
Sydney Leong is a UCSB Communication Major in her Junior year.